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What would be more humane? Chemical asphyxiation or loss of mobility via flame thrower, thereby quickly becoming dinner for the next up on the food chain? Hmmm….put it that way, I now think I prefer the chemical solution.

Our building manager has a flame thrower he uses to melt the ice off his home’s fancy custom brick walkway. It is a white heat blast that melts the ice and dries the brick almost instantly. He used it once to rid himself of a ground nest of of Yellow Jackets near his front porch. He said he waved the flame thrower wand over the nest, sending a blast of white heat directly on the nest (which scorched the front porch and his wife went bullshit, he says) and saw the cloud of bees drop to the ground in front of him. He swears they had a dazed and quizzical expression, flexing tiny stubs where wings used to be, falling over, stumbling in circles, looking for all the world as if the one thought in common was “What the &*#@ just happened?! Why am I still here on the ground?”

Practically choking with laughter at the image he described, I still managed to accuse him of having a seriously twisted sense of humor.

Which is why I saw a can of hornet and bee insecticide spray outside the nest on our walk yesterday afternoon. Considering that the tree might, perhaps, be burnt in the process (he can learn from past events – good thing!) of searing the bees into submission, he chose a spray can that shot foam into the nest. Several bees were outside the nest at the time and a few others flew out while he was spraying. They all had little foam caps or white splatters on them. Looking dazed and wearing quizzical expressions of “What the &*#@ just happened?”

Remember when you were a kid and got your hands on a can of shaving foam? Or the mad food fight with spray whipped cream? Yeah, that was image I had in mind, too.

Opening your snail-mail mailbox is a common enough event. You put your hand into the cavern and extract the contents; usually bills, on rare occasions a card or letter might be in the mix, or maybe a magazine you have a subscription for. Last night I opened the mailbox and out cascaded a plethora of catalogs. Pretty pictures to enjoy and pretend-order until you add it all up and realize that a) you haven’t won the lottery yet so funds will be an issue and b) even if you could order it all, you don’t have enough places to put most of it.

There were sale and clearance catalogs, new Fall merchandise and Back-to-School circulars, shoe and foot health catalogs, too. There were catalogs from Home & Hearth, Current® paper products, Winterthur, Pot Pourri, Macys®, Dogs.com, LL Bean, Carol Wright® Gifts, and one from (I think) Collectibles, Inc. That catalog had in bold script on the cover “New 2007 Christmas Catalog!”

Um…this is AUGUST, barely mid-August, even, and I am getting a CHRISTMAS MERCHANDISE CATALOG!!! I used to bitch when they came out before Halloween and gave up, finally, because they ALL seem to come out early-to-mid-October nowadays. It isn’t even Labor Day for Pete’s Sake! (Who is Pete and why do we always worry about his sake?)

At this time of the year I freeze in the office, and come outside to defrost. The idea that soon I will not be able to defrost outside is NOT a happy thought.

Also, I do not want to consider a bazillion snowmen/women/animals in various media, size, and characterizations, exhorting me to enjoy the winter season. The outdoor lighting sets of wrapped gifts on a sleigh, the cheerful elves, the self-inflating outdoor displays are just so not me. I do enjoy a touch of holiday whimsy here and there (I have a couple gold wire deer that perch on the front porch) and I like striping the outdoor lamp post with red ribbon and a live wreath. The rule is: No Christmas decorations go out before Thanksgiving, and the snow people have to wait until January!

I wish the catalog people felt the same! Grrr! I fussed and fumed all evening at the horrid commercialization of the Christmas season (Christmas without Jesus? I don’t think so!) and why I ended up on a list that seemed to think I was an appropriate mark…although…I did see one thing I might consider getting…so I pulled out the order form in the middle only to discover that the catalog wasn’t sent to me at all. It was sent to the previous Mrs who died 9 years ago. (I hope they don’t hold their breath waiting for her order.)

They didn’t think I was a crass, cheap opportunist at all.

As Roseanne Rosanadanna used to say

“…..never mind!”

They Also Exist in Nature

There are those who love nature as long as it doesn’t inconvenience them. I think most people might come under that heading. Then we have the paranoid phobics who are freaked by garter snakes (raise your hand with me on this one) so perhaps we can have people in both groups?

When weather and work/meetings permit, we walk the perimeter of the grounds during breaks. It is the same route every time. Only “this” time, we noticed something new in our landscape.

yellow jacket nest

The choices offered by the Building Manager were to use a) a flame thrower or b) chemicals.

We all know not to use the chemicals, yes? But wouldn’t the flame thrower damage the tree? The tree which is right next to the building? I know it is concrete blocks at that point, but there are wires and paint and potentially burnables nearby, yes?

It made me think of the glass half-full or glass half-empty mind-set and the wit who suggested perhaps the glass was the wrong size to begin with. The options are wrong to begin with.

I have finally finished my DSis socks. They even fit her! Of course, she won’t be wearing socks for several months, yet, so I needn’t rush off to get them in the mail (we know how much mailing love costs!) especially since there are a few other things late for the post office and well ahead of her socks…DD’s book, for instance.

What is currently on my needles is a pair of socks FOR ME. Now there is a rarity for you…me knitting something not destined for someone else. In this pattern I needed to do a “fore-thought” heel. This necessitated a provisional cast-on method (top-down, not toe-up, too!) never-before-attempted by yours truly. I think it worked…mostly. I looked at the wrong numbers for what to decrease down to and sorta over-did it, but I still think it will work. The self-striping yarn is amazing stuff to work with!

I also have on yet another set of needles, the prayer shawl. Remember? The one I was using to teach myself how to knit continental style? That is waiting for cooler temperatures because it is too bleepin’ hot and sticky most of the time to even contemplate picking it upthese days. Besides, I wanted to work on MY sock.

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